Is there such a thing as ‘cheap luxury?’

We all know the top fashion labels –and drool over the ones we covet but cannot afford. What makes luxury so, well, luxurious? Details. Fabrics. Tailoring. Finishing.

Oh, and it usually comes with a designer label and a fairly healthy price tag.

So what do you think about designer labels producing lines for discount stores? This trend started with Isaac Mizrahi developing a line for Target in 2003. At the time he was a trailblazer, taking his designs to everyday consumers. Today this trend continues with designers working with a range of stores to create exclusive lines at affordable prices. Prabal Gurung and Zac Posen for Target, and Vera Wang for Kohl’s, are examples of how top level designers have created lower priced lines for everyday wear.

I’m interested to hear what people think about this. The fabrics, details and finishing on discount lines are nowhere near the quality of couture fashion. But the labels are the same. Is this an attempt to connect with mass consumers? Or are designers just looking to make a pile of money. After all, Mizrahi’s five year run with Target garnered him about $300 million a year.

So – cheap luxury. Agree or disagree? Discuss.

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